At Chando Zerreci hamlet in Plateau State’s Bassa Local Government Area, gunmen suspected of being Fulani militants massacred 12 people and injured 28 others.
According to reports, the event occurred while residents of the state’s Irigwe ethnic group were enjoying ‘Zerreci,’ an annual festival that ushers in the rainy/farming season.
Micheal Danjuma, a member of the community who escaped the whisker attack, said the incident occurred at 11:45 p.m. on Saturday, April 2.
He went on to say that ten individuals were slain at the start, with two more dead on the festival grounds.
“12 individuals were killed instantly, while 28 others got gunshot wounds and are now being treated at several Jos hospitals,” the survivor claimed.
In a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Davidson Mallison, the Irigwe Development Association (IDA) confirmed the occurrence, adding that the attack was carried out by the Fulani militia.
“They also attacked our people in Ritivo early Sunday morning while they were celebrating a traditional and cultural event, killing two people and injuring others with bullet wounds.
“A total of 12 individuals have been killed, with another 28 suffering various degrees of injuries. The search for victims is still ongoing at the time of producing this report, which means the report can be modified if new information becomes available,” according to the statement.
The attack was orchestrated by the marauders, who targeted areas where the Rigwe people generally performed their cultural rituals, according to the report.
Lawrence Zongo, the National Publicity Secretary of the Irigwe Youths Movement, confirmed the deaths to the Punch in Jos on Sunday, saying that ten persons were murdered and 19 others were injured.
“Our country is currently experiencing a tragedy, as our people have been attacked and slain once again. This year, at our yearly ritual event, ‘Zerreci,’ which ushers them into the rainy and farming seasons, “Zongo said.
“On the 2nd of April 2022 at 11 p.m., they were attacked by Fulani militants identified as ‘Unknown Gunmen’ by government authorities at the ceremonial ground Chando Zerreci in Bassa Local Government of Plateau State.
“10 individuals were murdered, and 19 people survived with bullet wounds; they are being treated at Enos Hospital Miango, while others have been transferred to Jos,” says the statement.
“Brutal attacks on Rigwe communities have becoming increasingly common. This is completely inappropriate. The government must take more concrete efforts to protect people and property in Rigwe chiefdom and surrounding towns.”
“Nigerian authorities, both at the federal and state levels, failed to protect the Rigwe people’s lives and property, leaving them vulnerable to gunmen.
“The government must investigate the attack at Rigwe land as soon as possible, bring the criminals to justice, and ensure that families and other victims receive adequate compensation.”
ASP Ubah Gabriel Ogaba, the State Police Public Relations Officer, confirmed the incident and said that troops from the Command had been deployed to the affected locality.